Alphabetical Plant Listing

Learn How To Grow and Care for Plumeria

Frangipani, Plumeria alba, Plumeria rubra, Plumeria obtusa, Pua Melia, Temple Tree, Plumeria Tree


Adding a tropical aesthetic and a spectacular floral display to the landscape in the warmest climates, Plumeria (Frangipani) are small deciduous or semi-evergreen shrubs and trees with fragrant flowers, commonly used to make wonderfully scented leis in several Pacific islands, including Hawaii, Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa, New Zealand, Tonga, and the Cook Islands.

Symbol of love, immortality or new beginnings, Plumeria are frequently associated with temples and graveyards. In Asia, Plumeria flowers adorn Buddhist and Hindu temples. In Malaysia and Indonesia, Plumeria are associated with death, and they are often planted in Muslim cemeteries. Plumeria rubra is the national flower of Nicaragua and Plumeria is the national flower of Laos. 

All you need to know about Plumeria

  • Plumeria is a member of the dogbane family of flowering plants, Apocynaceae. It includes about a dozen accepted species that are native to tropical regions of the Americas, from Mexico to northern South America and islands of the Caribbean.
     
  • Plumeria is hardy in Zones 10-12 where temperatures do not dip below 40°F or 4°C.
     
  • Plumeria can be large shrubs or small trees. Their elongated leathery or fleshy leaves are borne in clusters near the tips of thick succulent branches. Plumeria plants can be evergreen (Plumeria obtusa) or undergo a dormant period, when flowering stops and the leaves fall.
     
  • Blooming their heart out from late spring to early summer until fall in the Northern Hemisphere, large clusters of showy, waxy flowers, 2-4 in. across (5-10 cm), are borne at the branch tips. Their five rounded overlapping petals may be pink, red, white, yellow, or bicolor. Each flower lasts between 1 and 4 days.
     
  • Plumeria flowers are often very fragrant, exuding a wonderful scent of jasmine, citrus, and gardenia. Their perfume is strongest at night, when their pollinators, moths, emerge. The moths alas go away hungry as the sweet-scented blossoms produce no floral nectar.
     
  • Depending on the species or cultivar, Plumeria may be upright and compact, or open and sprawling. They grow at a moderate rate up to 20 ft. tall (6 m), though most seen in home landscapes are kept pruned about 6-8 ft. tall (180-240 cm).
     
  • The most commonly grown species of Plumeria include Plumeria alba, Plumeria rubra and Plumeria obtusa. They have given way to hundreds of beautiful hybrid varieties.
     
  • Plumeria perform best in hot, dry locations, in full sun. Plumeria are salt-tolerant and drought-tolerant, though you will need to keep it watered during dry spells.
     
  • Plumeria have widespread use in tropical landscapes around the world thanks to the endless variety of the color, size, and fragrance of their blossoms. They make a ravishing accent or specimen plant and can also be grown in containers, bringing color and fragrance to patios and decks. 
     
  • Plumeria branches exude a toxic, milky latex from a cut flower, leaf, or stem, that can irritate the eyes and cause dermatitis in susceptible individuals. Mildly poisonous, ingesting leaves or flowers can irritate the digestive tract. If your dog eats Plumeria, he may show mild to severe signs of poisoning.
     
  • Thriving on neglect, Plumeria have no serious pest or disease issues. Keep an eye out for mites, flies, aphids, powdery mildew, rust.
  • Millions of Plumeria flowers are produced each year, most of them being used for making colorful leis on many Pacific Islands. In Hawaiian culture, Plumeria flowers worn in the hair have a relationship meaning: A flower worn behind a woman’s left ear means she is in a relationship. If it is worn behind the right ear, she is interested in finding a romantic partner.

Guide Information

Hardiness 10 - 12
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Plumeria - Frangipani
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Salt
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Mediterranean Garden
Compare All Plumeria - Frangipani Guides with Plumeria - Frangipani

Tdlucas5000, Flickr, Sarahfb, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 10 - 12
Plant Type Shrubs, Trees
Plant Family Plumeria - Frangipani
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Water Needs Low, Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Tolerance Drought, Salt
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles Coastal Garden, Mediterranean Garden
Compare All Plumeria - Frangipani Guides with Plumeria - Frangipani

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